Photo Credit - June Campbell

Photo Credit – June Campbell

Express Yourself with an Art Journal

Art journaling offers freedom of expression. Drawing, painting, and collaging enhance journal entries and allow journalers to capture the faintest details of daily events. Part art and part written word, the art journal brings to life thoughts, feelings, and experiences and puts them on the page for others to see. Although art journaling can be a very private affair, many people gain strength in sharing their Art journaling offers freedom of expression. Drawing, painting, and collaging enhance journal entries and allow journalers to capture the faintest details of daily events.entries publicly. In fact, there are Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr groups devoted to this type of self-expression.

Store Bought or Handmade

Many people like the Moleskine line of journals because they can be used to test out a variety of art journaling mediums. Other people want to create their own art books using found objects and basic bookbinding skills. Your budget and personal preference will determine which type works best for you. You may find both to be advantageous as you start to express yourself with art journaling.

Traditional Art Journaling Supplies

Contrary to popular belief, there is no wrong or right way to art journal. With that being said, there isn’t a concrete list of supplies that will help you with the journey. You can use what you have on hand to create texture and layers or you can purchase different supplies as you learn new techniques along the way. Like any other art form, you’re free to experiment.

Here are a few of the things you can use in your art journals:

  • Sharpies for writing over magazine images, wrapping paper, and newspaper.
  • Gel pins
  • Paints (Acrylic, Waterpaint, Oil, Fingerpaint, Puff Paint)
  • Fabric
  • A variety of papers (Scrapbook, Junk Mail, Take Out Menus)
  • Miscellaneous ephemera (Concert Tickets, Movie Stubs, Wrappers, Newspaper Articles)
  • Bubble wrap to paint and print on paper
  • Washi tape
  • Stencils
  • Rubber stamps and ink pads and sprays

You can gain a lot of inspiration by going through some of the boards on Pinterest. There are pins that explain how to make your own art journaling tools. In fact, you can get very creative and whip up a batch of alcohol inks or Mod Podge-like adhesive in the comfort of your own home. The best thing about handmade supplies is that you can adjust the recipe to your liking.

The Benefits of Digital Art Journaling

Many people prefer digital art journaling much in the same fashion that they enjoy digital journaling. If you happen to be such a person, you’ll find the benefits of creating art through a program like Adobe Illustrator. Modern technology makes it possible for you to fashion your digital pages into an ebook which you can have printed in hardback form.

Here are some of the things that make digital art journaling ideal:

  • There are no supplies to purchase and store.
  • There’s less mess to contend with.
  • You can easily undo your mistakes.
  • You can share your entries easily with others.

You get the same relief from keeping a digital art journal as you do with a traditional art journal without as much maintenance. You will however, need either a computer or tablet to work on your journal. In some instances this may not be very convenient for you. That’s where a traditional art journal may be something you want to keep on hand as well. You can easily travel with a Moleskine and journal in places where you can’t work on a computer.

Keeping an art journal is a gratifying practice. Whether you decide to do it traditionally or digitally is your choice. Experiment with different mediums and by all means, add your own thoughts, ideas, lists, preferences, and dislikes. Your words will liberate you. Grow as a person as your art journaling practice grows. You’ll be wiser and feel more free by doing so.

Written by Charissa- EJ Staff Writer